Over 2,000 FCI depots to go online by March 2016: Ram Vilas Paswan
Over 2,000 FCI depots to go online by March 2016: Ram Vilas Paswan

In order to minimise storage losses of foodgrains, the government has announced to put in place an online system to automate the operations at 2,000-odd FCI depots by March 2016, reported PTI.

State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains for the PDS, has been incurring financial loss due to damage to foodgrains and storage and transit losses.

"The government has taken important initiative to implement online system across all food storage depots of FCI in the country. All the depots will have all their operation online by March, 2016," said Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Food Minister after releasing a logo and tag line of the online initiative, here in Delhi.

The online depot project would facilitate process automation, standardisation and efficiency of the management of foodgrain distribution and would enable real time monitoring of operations and timely data reporting, he said.

The minister also mentioned that FCI has invited a tender to hire a private agency to implement this project.

Software to accomplish this task has already been developed and tested in one-two depots in Andhra Pradesh. This will be scaled up and rolled out across the country.

A senior official said that automation of the entire process from entry and exit of foodgrains at FCI depots would curb theft and manipulation. This will improve efficiency in operations of depots.

The cost of the project is not expected to be very high as computers are there at depots and software needs to be installed and manpower has to be trained, the official added.

Currently, there is some kind of computerisation at FCI depots to an extent that it gives stock position data. However, every operation from loading to unloading of foodgrains is done manually.

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